By Mary Obaebor
THE Office of Education Quality Assurance, OEQA, Ministry of Education, Lagos State has commenced safe school clearance visits to public and private schools below tertiary level in the state to ensure they are safe to remain open for academic activities.
OEQA had earlier mandated public and private schools in the state to register online on the agency’s website, develop and upload learning plans which include: operational, communication, environmental and safety & health plans to obtain a clearance for reopening.
The process includes schools self-assessment on COVID-19 safety protocols and an online training, a certificate to be issued which ends up with visits from OEQA evaluators for physical assessment of submitted plans to obtain a final clearance to remain open.
Speaking during the visit to Corona Day Secondary School and Primary School, Lekki, the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, disclosed that the OEQA had commenced the physical assessment of schools across the state.
This is based on the clearance request of schools received upon successful online submission of all required safety plans. According to her, the state government had put measures in place to ensure compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols which would help re-position the state’s educational system to fulfill the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on education and technology.
OEQA has embarked on a continuous professional development training for its evaluators, private school proprietors, public junior and senior secondary school principals and heads of public primary schools, on what is expected of them this period.
Mrs. Ayeni stated that her office was holistically addressing the COVID-19 safety measures in schools to ensure that teaching and learning continues.
“Therefore, schools must strategically align with the OEQA to ensure the safety of students, teachers and everyone,” she said.
Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni emphasized the importance of a synergy between the state government and schools across the state as the best way forward at this time.
According to Mrs. Olanrewaju Oniyitan, the CEO of W/Holistic Business Solution who was on the visiting team, this process would encourage schools to stand out especially in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. It is not just a one-time process but a continuous one that is subject to a follow up.
Principals and Head of Schools have been enjoined to continue with adhering strictly to all safety protocols as directed by the Governor Sanwo-Olu.